Posted by: Mojo Jojo | March 4, 2008

An encounter with a Bangalore maamu

Bangalore is quite an interesting place, to say the truth.
There was this little something that happened to me the other night, while I was returning home from office on my bike. No, this time it wasn’t the dogs. Apparently, they are no longer in heat now (that’s when it gets real sweaty for us poor night hawks) and all the mama dogs have given birth to little baby cuties that will grow up one fine day to start chasing me and my poor bike down these streets again.
No, not dogs. This time it was a dark figure under a distant tree, holding out his hand to make me stop.
Now, I have this queer policy of not letting any hitchhikers on after 10 pm. A policy I had adopted after an unfortunate incident with a guy-molestor in the night-time, a long long time ago in Chennai.
So (getting back to the story), there was this person holding out his hand. I cranked up the accelerator so I can make a clear getaway but …. screeeeech! It was a police chap.
No, not a traffic warden but one of those lathi-swinging khaki-clad guys who make it a point to stop motorists in the middle of the night thoda chai paani ke waaste. And as my bike’s got an outstation licence plate, he must have figured I was easy prey.
He walked around the bike, measuring me up. Then, even as he slowly twirled his Veerappan of a mustachio, the lips under it moved menacingly. And the gruff noise they made sounded very much like, “Where did you get this bike from? And where did you drink from?”
In Hindi. He must I thought I was one of those gullible yet fat-walleted wannabe Schumachers returning home from a couple of pitchers at Styx. Well, gullible I may be… but a fat-walleted wannabe Schumacher? I almost pitied the guy.
But, as luck would have it, H2o was the only drink I had the misfortune of having since that morning. That apart, I had renewed my insurance just a week ago, my road tax was paid, and I had a gleaming pollution certificate.
His mustachio crumpled up; and I wouldn’t have been surprised if it had withered and gone floating away in the night breeze either. And for a moment there, seeing him so distraught, I could have reached out and given him a generous jaadu ki jhappi.
But just then, his face brightened up. And with twinkling eyes, he said: “Ah! But could you give me a ride till the next junction. I need to go there.” He didn’t ask this. He said this. Which was probably why he thought there’s no need for a reply from my side, and started climbing on to the back of my steed.
Now, this doesn’t happen often, but, I bristled. Like an extra-hard toothbrush.
Suddenly – surprising even myself – I zipped the bike forward, causing the cop to go stumbling on the sidewalk. And as his mouth opened in stupendified surprise, I said, “No.”
“What?” He couldn’t believe it.
“No,” I said again. And this time, sternly. Somehow I thought that if I backed off at that point, he could get really bothersome.
“But why,” he asked, with big Bambi eyes that made me feel really bad about myself, “Is it because I am a policeman? But this is what I do… are you denying me the ride just because I was carrying out my duty.”
“No,” I said, and drove off. And in my rearview mirror, I saw Mister Cop become smaller and smaller until he was nothing but a little dot on the fast-retreating horizon. The gruff expression was gone; now he looked like a little pig whose straw hut had just been huffed and puffed away by the Big Bad Wolf.
Which made me think: Did I just act like the Big Bad Wolf? Indeed, it was the cop’s duty to check passing vehicles – and I couldn’t hold a grudge against him for doing what he was supposed to.
“Aww,” I tried consoling myself, “He was just looking for some extra cash to line his khaki underwear with.”
But then, again, How could I be sure he was looking for a bribe? Maybe he was one of honest ones.
“Honest one? HAH!” I scoffed at myself, “Just how many honest cops have I come across in my last five years of riding? None, of course. And anyway, I never let people hitch rides on my bike after it’s dark… so why should I have made an exception for a cop?!”
That sounded like a good argument to not feel guilty. But, needless to say, the hurt look on that guy’s face haunted my dreams for night and nights to come. Probably I should go visit Mac someday… feeling concerned for a ten-ton cop with Veerappan whiskers gotta be a sure sign that I’m on a one-way trip to happy-land.

Picture courtesy:



  1. you did a moe, twinky.

    and for pete’ sake change that link or just do away with creepy suzie once and for all. you have been hosting a non-existent link forever now

    and ya, welcome back. you were long forgotten

  2. Owww. You right. It’s da original vagabond now … man, you change your blog url as often as I change my blog skin. I’ll right the wrong.
    And ya, it’s good to be back. So you ready for a thumping already?

  3. Post the long ago Chennai story!

  4. i changed my url just once, almost an yr back. and i am always ready to give you a hard time 🙂

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